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Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is has a grand opening date. The hospital has announced it expects to be able to take patients in by October 15th. The President and CEO of the hospital says once the state Department of Public Health gets a chance to thoroughly review personnel competencies, they can open. He says now the clinic teams are preparing and getting used to the new facility and its new technology. As we mentioned earlier this week, the Grand-Open House is set for Sunday, September 13th, from 1 to 4 p.m. The new building is on One Marcela Drive (off East Hill Road).

Several people showed up at the Long Valley Garden Club in Laytonville to talk pot. The Emerald Growers Association had their “Elements of a Craft Farm” series last week. The event featured the historical development of marijuana genetics and its related industry implications. Several farmers at the meeting talking regulatory compliance too following the approval of a new water quality environmental program for north coast cannabis cultivators. The growers association helps pot farmers with best water conservation practices and site characteristics for their farms like culverts, water storage and possible issues like erosion and pollutants.

A man from Oakland pulled over for a traffic violation in Cloverdale says the pot smell coming from his car was from a joint he had, but when cops searched they found a tad more… 225 pounds worth. The CHP says the pot portioned into separate vacuum sealed bags were in trunk of the man’s car. Brett Wilson stopped Tuesday afternoon on Highway 101 by a CHP officer who saw him speed past at about 75 mph. When the officer approached he could smell the pot. Then another cop with a dog trained to sniff out drugs came by and the dog quickly indicated something in the car. Wilson arrested on suspicion of possessing and transporting marijuana to sell but he bailed out of jail the next day.

Another relief fund’s been set up for fire victims. North Coast Opportunities (NCO) and MendoLake Credit Union (MLCU) have partnered to create a Fire Relief Fund for Rocky and Jerusalem fire victims. A five-person managing committee has been set up to review applications and disburse money. The committee set to meet and review the first set of applications next week. Those impacted by the fires are encouraged to go to the credit union and apply for funds. The money for those with expenses like smoke damage, loss of personal property and other expenses incurred during or after the fires. (707) 467-3210.

State lawmakers have passed emergency legislation after public complaints to award diplomas to thousands of students who failed the state’s high school exit exam. The students met other graduation requirements but the bill fixes an obstacle some seniors were met with in the class of 2015. They couldn’t take or pass the exam because the state suspended it in June. So officials are considering how to replace it and whether to suspend it for three more years.

A pot farm in Santa Rosa is suing its landlord so they can take permanent ownership of the property. The farm, Peace in Medicine, run by a city council member from Sebastopol has filed a breach of contract claim against the landlord for refusing to let the farm exercise its option to buy the 2.5-acre parcel as part of their 2011 lease. The pot farmers say they’re making “above-market” lease payments so in May they tried to buy the land and greenhouses, but the landlord says they exceeded their 499-plant maximum and that nullified the agreement.

Early Pear harvest in Lake County. It’s said to be the earliest pear harvest ever in Lake County because of a mild winter. Then the spring and summer weather helped trigger early harvests for wine grapes and other crops statewide. The Lake County Agricultural Commissioner says the harvest started July 22nd in some areas of the county which was a couple days earlier than previously recorded and almost two weeks earlier than normal.

A man from Humboldt County has been arrested for an assault on a woman in Whitehorn, near Garberville. Police say the woman told them her neighbor Gerard Honzik came into her yard without warning and hit her with a chair in the head and upper body. He’s also accused of vandalizing the woman’s pickup truck and beating a man at her house. But the man refused to press charges. The woman got medical treatment for her injuries and Honzik was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism. He also had an outstanding warrant from Mendocino County for an assault charge and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $30,000 bail.

A public hearing’s been set to hear the new budget for Mendocino County. The budget for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 has been put together then made available for the public by application to the auditor. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is having a Public Hearing on the Final Budget Tuesday, September 8th at 9:00 a.m. or possibly soon after. It’s continued day to day until it’s all done. But it can’t go past ten calendar days. Any member of the public can appear and ask questions, but they recommend submitting correspondence to the Clerk of the Board no later than Wednesday, September 2nd.

A wolf pack is back in California for the first time since they were hunted almost to extinction about ninety years ago. Trail cameras have caught sight of the Shasta pack in Siskiyou County near Mount Shasta. Pamela Flick with Defenders of Wildlife says the gray wolf has been under federal protection since 1973 but was just listed as endangered in California last year, making it illegal to hunt or harass the animals.

Cut 75345 :15 "The Shasta pack is known to have at least five pups and the alpha male and female. The presence of a whole pack affirms that wolves know that there is suitable habitat in our state and are already using it. Grey wolves are back for good."

Tag: The wolves are believed to have spread from existing packs in Oregon. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has been working with stakeholders in conservation, livestock production and hunting interests to develop a California Wolf Plan, which will be released for public comment by the end of the year.

Second Cut: Kimberly Baker is with the nonprofit Environmental Protection Information Center.

Cut 76345 :10 "I look forward to a day where we have viable populations of wolves – and wolves and humans are coexisting and sharing the landscape together."

Tag 2: In the future, Fish and Game biologists plan to briefly capture one of the adult wolves so the animal can be fitted with a tracking device and then released.

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